Macron letter BACKFIRES: French president accused of presenting ‘self-serving‘ EU vision

Mr Macron was accused of presenting a “french wish list” for the EU by designing a future for the bloc that suits Paris’ “own image”, without much regard for its other members. In the memo, which was published in 24 languages, the French President called for new EU institutions, as well as a common defence strategy, to protect the bloc. But the radical proposals, designed as the starter pistol for Mr Macron’s European Parliament elections campaign, weren’t to the taste of the entire bloc.

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Daniel Dalton, a Conservative MEP, said: “Essentially, this is Macron trying to make the EU in France‘s own image.

“It is what each member state tries to do. That is why a federal Europe, which some in Brussels appear to crave, is unlikely to happen in reality.”

Mr Dalton highlighted Mr Macron’s pitch as a “French wish-list for Europe dressed up as Europe’s interest”.

Former MP Douglas Carswell said: “Efforts to organise Europe by top down design are destroying Europe.

Emmanuel Macron comes under fire after penning letter about European Union‘s future (Image: GETTY)

“The fools that preside over Europe are too arrogant to see this. A tragedy.”

Despite Britain leaving the EU ahead of the elections, which are scheduled for May 23-26, Mr Macron still felt the need to target Brexit.

His letter called for a European renaissance to head of a bloc-wide crisis symbolised by “the dead-end of Brexit”.

He accused Leave campaigners of spreading lies and manipulating the British public to secure Brexit.

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The EU is under thread from “lies and irresponsibility” demonstrated throughout the Brexit process, he wrote.

“Who told the British the truth about their future after Brexit? Who talked to them about losing their access to the European market? Who mentioned the risks for peace in Ireland of returning to the border of the past?

“In the face of these manipulations, we should stand upright, proud and lucid.

“This is the moment for a European renaissance. Resisting the temptation of withdrawal and division, I propose to build together this renaissance around three aspirations: freedom, protection and progress.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was sceptical of the French President’s approach.

Mr Hunt told the : “I don‘t agree with that approach. We had a very robust referendum campaign in which claims were made – indeed exaggerated claims were made on both sides of the debate – and that‘s what happens not just in referendums but in general elections.

“British people are quite smart enough to be able to listen to the claims made by politicians in these situations and make their own judgment – they made a decision.

“And I think the strategic decision, not just for the UK but for Europe as well and for President Macron and his colleagues in continental Europe, is: ‘Is the relationship that continental Europe has with the UK after Brexit going to be the closest of friendships?’.

“That’s what we want and not just a trading relationship but a diplomatic and strategic relationship – a relationship between countries that have basically the same values.

“Or is it going to be a relationship of strategic competition? What we want is to continue that friendship and that’s what we think is possible.”